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Keyword Search Results for:
Lilac

10 Found

Question: 601-3411
My Lilac "Moscow" has few flowers. It stands about three feet high now. It has very few flowers in the spring. How can I get it to bloom more profusely? William, Wheelsburg, OH

Mort's Answer:
Smaller lilacs like Syringa microphylla with smaller leaves will sometimes bloom again in the fall. Persian lilacs grow to six feet and have smaller clusters of three inches. S.vulgaris or the common lilac have profuse flowers in the spring. It is possible that although you are in zone 6, the frost may have nipped the buds. It is more likely that you need to add phosphorus the soil. You can apply a handful of bonemeal at this time and work it into the soil around the stem. Additionally six spikes of 5-10-10 about 18 inches from and around the stem will insure more blooms. Clusters on S.persica rarely get larger than three inches as well.

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Question: 632-4211
My lilac did not do well this year. It has a lot of mold on the leaves. How can I get more leaves and less mold? Rose Marie, Griswold, CT

Mort's Answer:
Remove any stem to the ground that is over a half inch. Each spring you should cut down to the ground half of all new stems. This mold is a fungus that grows in the honeydew medium that falls from nearby shade trees that are infected with aphids. If you are near the woods you can spray with a fungicide like Benlate in the early summer for the mold. You can fertilize the lilac with 5-10-10 fertilizer this fall to help next year's blooms.

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Question: 637-4311
My Persian Lilac has root showing and dead branches. It is about six feet tall and against the cement steps. I tried putting topsoil and lime on it but it does not help. What do you suggest? Mary, Preston, CT

Mort's Answer:
You will need to transplant the lilac when the leaves start to fall. You need not get a ball of dirt to have a good transplant. You can cut two feet off the top. This will help assure a successful move and make it easier to handle. Do not tear the roots when you dig it up. Cut them clean with loppers, if necessary. Use good loam in the new hole and no fertilizer for the first year. You may have few flowers if you cut it back but you increase the probability of not losing the plant.

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Question: 666-5111
I have a white lilac that is about ten feet. How do I go about pruning it back? John, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
Any lilac that big should be treated the same as Syringa vulgaris with diligent pruning of new shoots. Half of all new shoots need to be cut off near the roots each year. Any old shoots over two inches thick should be cleaned out down to the ground as well. You can take off two feet from the top to encourage branching near the top for more flowers.

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Question: 667-5111
As you suggested in October, I moved a Persian lilac from near the cement stairs. I replaced it with an Azalea. I do not know if it is dwarf. Should I leave it there? Mary, Preston, CT

Mort's Answer:
Unfortunately, the same leaching that caused the distress of the lilac will make the situation worse for the azalea. Even dwarf azaleas will get ten feet wide in 50 years. Usually, Japanese dwarf azalea are small leaved. Since they love acidic soil, you need to move the azalea next spring to an area that is mostly shady. Most shade areas are naturally acidic. You could add peat to improve the soil, if it does not have a lot of organic matter.

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Question: 746-1912
Can I prune my lilac back now? Chris, East Greenwich, RI

Mort's Answer:
After the flowers have died, you can dead head the old blooms. Any branch over an inch can be cut down to the ground, if necessary. Remove half of the new pencil shoots. Since lilacs bloom on two and three year old branches, you can have a continual stream of advantageous stems. You can also add some 5-10-10 fertilizer, if you have not fertilized in the last five years.

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Question: 776-2316
My grandma gave a me a Queen Elizabeth lilac cutting years ago. I want to take a cutting from this lilac and send it to my daughter in Georgia. Any helpful hints? Cindy, Windham, CT

Mort's Answer:
You lilac is probably still in bloom. When it is done, deadhead all the old flowers. You can take eight inch cuttings from those terminal shoots. I would take a dozen for good measure. The bottom of the cuttings should have an acute angle. Take off all the leaves save two at the top. Wrap the cuttings in moist tissue or cheese cloth. Place the wrap in a plastic zip lock bag before mailing. Tell your daughter to sun dry the cuttings after opening them and removing the plastic. She can have a wooden box that is filled with six inches deep of coarse sand. Her box needs to be near the spigot for daily moistening. Soak the sand once after the filling. After the cuttings have produced roots they can be planted in a protected area together. Next spring before they sprout they can be installed in desired locations at home and abroad.

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Question: 861-4912
I have a Lilac Sensational that is about four feet tall. It was supposed to bloom in three seasons. It has just bloomed once the past two years. It was also supposed to have different color blooms. Dottie, Griswold, CT

Mort's Answer:
It probably is one of the Korean Lilacs. If it was grafted you may have cut it back and forced up the root stock, which is standard fare for lilacs. It is more likely that you have run out of phosphorus or had excessive nitrogen from your lawn fertilizer. Feed the plant bonemeal this fall. Make about five holes in a circle around the plant about a foot away. Fill them with the bonemeal. This should be good for five years.

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Question: 1106-1414
When is the best time to prune lilac? My lilacs have produced very few blooms the past two years. Ted, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Syringa vulgaris is the common and most popular lilac specie. Half of the new pencil shoots have to be cut down to the ground every year. You can do that now. Since they bloom primarily on two and three year old wood, you are doing no harm. The next step is best done after blooming. You need to remove any stem that is an inch round down to the ground or next joint. Because you are losing flower strength anyway, you could also decide to do this now. After you get some blooms, they can be removed when they wither. You should also apply some fertilizer now. Dig a half dozen holes at leaf drop in a circle and fill them with 5-10-10.

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Question: 321-5201
When is the best time to transplant our lilacs? Marilyn, Groton, CT

Mort's Answer:
When the leaves start to fall is the best time to move your Syringa vulgaris or Persianlilacs. I always remove half of the new canes each year since lilacs bloom on two and three-year old wood primarily. I also remove older canes that are more than an inch around.

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